After bouncing back from near extinction in Florida, crocodiles are again endangered by Jamaica’s dramatically rising poaching rates as well as the fact their eggs are dug up from beaches.
From exotic delicacies to fashionable handbags, crocs might have more to fear than ever before in terms of danger from humans. After bouncing back from near extinction in Florida, these reptiles are again endangered, this time in Jamaica by dramatically rising poaching rates not just for their meat, but also their eggs.
Reptile specialist Byron Wilson said, “"I went from never hearing about anyone eating crocodile meat, much less crocodile eggs, to hearing about it all the time. There's just so much carnage going on.”
Jamaica’s National Environment and Planning Agency warned people to stop possessing and killing crocs, who have been legally protected since 1971, or face consequences of a $100,000 fine and up to 2 years of jail time.
Many conservationists also hope to educate people as to the animal’s critical role in keeping the marine system clean.
Several underground trends may be responsible for the increase. Some islanders simply hate the creatures while others enjoy eating their meat, especially at exclusive events. Rich buyers pay up to $35 per pound, and many men believe eating crocodile boosts their sexual performance.
Other suggestions for the increase include more croc-eating immigrants from China and television food shows inspiring demand.